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Brawling is nothing new and there are on record affidavits that throw light on the area and its inhabitants. I am indebted to Lavonne Bradfield who transcribed these oaths. The two Kennedy oaths have been laid out so the names are given as a list, for clarity, rather than try and preserve the original document layout.
Family 40 in the 1796 Visitation list contains Garland and his brother James. There were also other Jameses in the list - but it seems likely these are the two brothers. The Torrens families also are in the same list.
City and County Londonderry
This examination of James Kennedy Farmer who Maketh Oath Before me this day that he resides in the townland of Coolnaman in the Parish of Desartoghill Half Barony of Colrain in Sd County and who being Duly Sworn & examd Before me
That on or About the Hour of Eleven O'Clock on the Evening of Friday the 6th Day of July Inst he was Conovying Some of His Neighbors (inserted above..toward) the place of their abode When he was met in a field not far Distant from his Dwelling House In Coolnaman aforsd by
all in the Parish Half barony & County aforsd together with a number of Other Persons whose names he does not know but from Information who had assembled themselves in a Very Riotous & Disordorly Manner and he believes were making their way to Exmt Residence to Abuse him armed with Large Cudgells, Poles, Sticks and iron tongs, with which weapons they most violently in humanly & Barbarously, & assault and Beat Battered Cut Wounded & Abused this Examt and that the aforsd Thomas Torrens Senr, did then and there strangle
- Thomas Torren's Senr,
- Thomas Torran's Junr,
- Andrew Torrins,
- Samuel Torrens
- John Torrens
- Hugh Torrens Senr,
- Hugh Torrens Junr,
- Alexander Torrens Senr,
- Alexander Torrin's Junr,
all of Coolnaman aforsd and
- James Elder & John Elder both of Moneydig
(End of Page 1)
Strangle & Chock the Examt by the Handkerchief that was Around his neck and Abused him is so Inhuman a Manner, that he was nearly rendered Lifeless and is greatly hurt Blackned & Bruised from sd Abuse
Sworn Before me this 9th Day of July 1810 and Examt Bound in £5 to proscute at Next General Sessions of the Peace to be held at Colrain for sd County
City and County Londonderry
The examination of Garland Kennedy Farmer who Maketh Oath Before me this day that he resides in the townland of Coolnaman in the Parish of Desartoghill Half Barony of Colrain in Sd County and who being Duly Sworn and examd Before me Saith
That on or about the Hour of Eleven Oclock on the Evening of Friday the 6th Day of July Inst he was in Company with James Kennedy of Coolnamen aforsd in a field near his own house where he was, that by a Number of persons had assembled themselves in A Very Riotous & Disorderly manner, Armed with large cudgells sticks poles and iron tongs. Among who were
Several of whom he saw Beat Batter Cut Wounded & Abuse the Said James Kennedy in a Very Barbarous manner with the aforsd weapons.
- Thomas Torrens Senr,
- Thomas Torrens Junr
- Alexander Torrans Senr
- Alexander Torrans Junr
- Alexander Torrans [inserted above: & Mary his wife],
- Andrew Torrens
- Samuel Torrens,
- John Torrens,
- Hugh Torrens Senr
- Hugh Torrens JunR,
- Jane Torrans, Otherwise Blair,
- Jane Taylor [crossed out and inserted above: Jane Torrens],
- John Chambers and
- Mary Anna Torrens Widow
all of Coolnaman afor.sd
- Martha Morrell wife of James Morrell,
- James Elder and Margt his wife,
- John & Robert Elder their sons
all of Moneydig in the Parish Half Barony & County aforsD,
Sworn Before me this 9th Day of July 1810 Examd Bound in £5 to prosicute at Next general sessions of the Peace to be held at Colrain for Sd County
City and County Londonderry
The Examination of John Quig Yeoman Who Maketh Oath this Day Before me that he resides in the Townland of Bovagh in the Parish of Aghadowey in the half Barony of Colrain and County aforsd Who being also Duly Sworn and Examnd Before me Saith That on the Evening of Friday the 20th. day of February Inst this examt went into a room in the House of Daniel Mc Cosey of the Town of Garvagh in Sd County Publican in Order to Look for a Spur that was Lost where he found a Number of Men Sitting playing at Cards Among whom was James Kennedy & Alexander Kennedy both of Coolnaman Farmers & John Brown of Moneydig Stone Mason all of the Parish of Desartoghill in the said half Barony & County who without any provocation given by Examt did then and there ___ Violently Assault beat Batter Kick and Abuse him, that Sd Alexr Kennedy Knocked him down by giving him a Very Sure blow with the Socket End of a Bayonet from which he recd a Large wound on his Head and also from Sd Abuse another wound on his Left Leg to the Very great Effusion of his Blood, That from said Kicks and abuse he was much hurt & Bruised in Sundry parts of his Body & one of his Eyes much blackned, That he Likewise Recd another wound on his head from the Blow of Cudgell from one of the above Named persons, That - Examd called out, Murder from which Some persons Came to his relief Otherwise he Verily believes the Said James & Alexander Kennedy & John Brown or Some of them would then & there have taken his life.
John (X) Quig
Sworn Before me this 28th Day this of February 180? and Examt Bound in £5 to prosecute at Next Session of the Peace held at Colrain for the District Whereof in Sd County.
Neither difference of religious profession nor inequality of worldly station could weaken the strong bond of Masonic brotherhood. In Movanagher at Tullyhill, a Feeemason called Barney McNamee, a Roman Catholic, quarreled with one McCool, a Ribbonman of the same creed. Barney unfortunately struck too hard and fractured McCool's skull. The doctors feared the case would end fatally. Constables came to take Barney in custody. Barney fled. Although he must have been very active then, for some cause, now forgotten, he became exhausted. On reaching the quarry on the Coleraine road the constables were at hand when two brother Masons named Kennedy, from the 'round thorn' bushes at lower Tamlaght appeared on the scene. They supported Barney, one on each side, and partly dragged, partly carried him along through hedges and across ditches to the Bann Ferry.
Before the bridge was built at Kilrea this ferry was an important place. William Torrens lived near and had a daughter who was expert with the oar. The three fugitive Masons rushed down to the landing-place, one of them went into the dwelling house. caught up William Torrens' daughter and placed her in the boat, while another seized a spade lying near, broke the chain by which the boat was moored and pushed off from the bank before their pursuers could reach them. Friends who had watched the race anxiously from the Vow side of the river were waiting to rescue them, so Barney got off safely, and eventually recovered. The Kennedys were of an old and respected family.
The Torrenses listed here are all related and are of the Culnamen family. See The Torrens Families of Culnamen for details.
It is also of interest to compare the Torrenses and Kennedys with the 1796 Visitation listings, where all three Kennedys are listed as are most of the other names here.
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